In two other articles in this issue we highlight ecommerce dealmaking, specifically early stage investments in Brazil’s ecommerce sector and M&A activity by Dutch food giant Ahold, with its acquisition of bol.com. New market research suggests why these companies are investing now. Forrester Research released data in a new report this week about the US market. US sales topped USD 200 billion in 2011. The current growth rate 7% is expected to accelerate to 9% by 2016.
Three Growth Drivers
– Innovative new business models. Among the most rapidly growing business models of the last decade were the flash sales sites, companies like Gilt Groupe and Woot.
– Consumers have a greater comfort level purchasing certain types of products online,
– More online loyalty programs. While over the years physical stores and brands have managed to capture greater shopper data with loyalty programs and private label credit card programs, online retailers such as Amazon.com have essentially created loyalty programs of their own.
– Ubiquitous mobile web capabilities. Smartphones expedite shopping with instantaneous information about prices or products. Forrester estimates that only 9% of web buyers currently have tablets, but these shoppers convert at much higher rates than smartphone shoppers.